So, you’ve done your part. You went out of your way to source candidates from every known platform, spent hours on plenty of dead-end interviews, or skipped all that trouble and hired a recruiter to find the right match. Either way, finding talent is by no means the endgame.
Now, you need to make sure you keep that talent, and it all starts with a well-planned onboarding process. But since it’s 2021, let’s talk about onboarding remote employees.
Whether your company’s plan is to play the home office card for the long run or to eventually bring your employees back on-site, one thing is for sure: remote onboarding is still necessary for the time being. So, you might as well do it right. Take a look at our New Hire Checklist (remote edition!) to learn how to properly welcome new members of your team.
This might surprise you, but an efficient onboarding process begins before the first day of work. If you want your new employee to start fresh on their first day, then make sure they have everything they need in advance. If you are providing them with a computer, keyboard, or headphones, they need to get that before their first day to set their workstation on time.
Send them as well the credentials and access codes for all the software they will be using for their job, such as company mail address, team messaging tools, video conference software, web-phone app, etc. Let them know that they can ask assistance from your IT department to set up any of these programs and apps.
That early excitement of joining in might not come as natural as it normally would in an on-site scenario. Instead of just sending the hardware they need for their job, including a signed welcome letter from the CEO, a t-shirt, or a coffee mug with your company’s brand message is a great way to welcome your new hire.
Now that your new employee is all set up, it’s time to prepare for their first day. Your two main goals are to schedule a round of introductions and align expectations. When working on-site, you would probably do this by preparing a meeting with the team or giving the new employee a tour around the office and debriefing the basics.
In the remote work environment, you first need to make sure that the employee knows how to use your video conference software. Then, you can set up a meeting with them and their team so everyone can introduce themselves. At the very least, this first meeting consists of everyone sharing their name, their work relationship with the new hire, and a random personal fact to keep it fresh.
Throughout the week, you can also set up another private call to speak and listen to how the new hire is feeling and their impressions and expectations. One-on-one calls with each member of the team are also recommended to discuss their roles in-depth.
Instead of giving them a tour in the office, you can call schedule 10-minute meetings with other teams over the week to provide your new hire a glimpse of the different departments. Each department should introduce themselves and talk about their overall role and goals in the company.
If you have more than one new hire on your team or on the company, make sure to coordinate these introductions to make this process a lot more efficient.
The onboarding process doesn’t have to be done in one day and, ideally, you wouldn’t want to exhaust your new employee with too many introductions and little to no action. Aligning expectations is also about getting the job done, or at least started.
Plan your new hire’s tasks before their first day to alternate between getting calls and experiencing their new job. This will help them understand the workflow of the activities. If you work with a project management tool, teach them how to use it right away to help them feel like they are joining in the action since the beginning.
At the end of the day or the week, send a message to see how that went for them and ask if they need something else from this onboarding process. If you need to train your new employee, send them instructional videos, and follow up with any questions they may have.
Remote work is not an excuse to stop investing time in your employees. In the end, if they feel comfortable from the beginning, they will have better performance, and you will reduce your turnover rate.
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